Pahtavaara mine

Arriving late yesterday at Metla research station in Kolari, everything worked very well with the key in place and clear instructions. Thank you to Mikko Jokinen for organizing this.

Today we took the possibility for a visit at Pathavaara gold mine north of Sodankylä. Some hours a drive, but given the distances on these plains, quite close to Kolari. Two mine geologists, Guido and Marie, thankfully took their time today, on a Saturday, to show us around the mine.

The possibility to visit mines is great. Working with large-scale geomorphology and the effects of Quaternary glacial erosion always requires the finding of bedrock outcrops (with apologies to ecologists and quaternary geologists – I would really like to scrape of the forest and the sedimentary layers of the shield to be able to see the bedrock surface, and the distribution of weathering remnants. Only for a short period of time, of course..). In a mine, we are able to see the bedrock face downwards, and the contact of the till to the bedrock surface (photo). Comparing these observations to the data we already have, this helps us to assess the pattern of the effects of glacial erosion on the shield surface.

This was a good first day on the shield. Tomorrow we will drive on to Kilpisjärvi, another interesting area were to Precambrian basement emergences from under the Caledonian nappes.

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